One day I will die leaving behind
Posted: Sep 23, 2007 1:51pm
Remembering one of the greats
For as long as space exists,
And living beings remain in cyclic existence,
For that long, may I too remain,
To dispel the sufferings of the world.
Engaging in the Conduct of a Bodhisattva
Posted: Sep 23, 2007 3:15pm
Yes I heard about it yesterday.
In my earlier days I studied mime. I just saw a video of him and noticed his hands. What a great magician he was in creating illusions without props.
Does anyone know if he ever did magic such as with coins?
aka dr laugh
music, magic and marvelous toys
Posted: Sep 23, 2007 3:36pm
He will be missed.
Marcel Marceau, the wiry French mime who did much to revive the art of pantomime, performing as Bip, his chalk-faced character in a stovepipe hat adorned with a red flower, died Saturday. He was 84 years old and lived in France.
His death was announced on French radio by Marceau's former assistant, Emmanuel Vacca.
Since 1945, when he began his silent career, Marceau performed an average of 200 shows a year, most of them abroad, where he was more highly praised than in his native France. His repertory changed little over the decades, but he played to full houses in the United States, Germany and other European countries, Australia and Japan, where he was deemed "a national treasure."
"At a time when generations of mime artists have rebelled against his brand of classical mime," Anna Kisselgoff wrote in The New York Times in 1999, "Mr. Marceau remains a model not a fossil. Anyone who has never seen the staples of the repertory with which Mr. Marceau has toured the United States since 1955 should beat a path to his performances."
His acts included "Creation," in which the start of the world began with a fluttering of his long fingers as fish and birds, and ended with Adam and Eve skulking out of Eden. In "Youth, Maturity, Old Age and Death," he depicted in four minutes the joy and pathos of life more succinctly and dramatically than many novelists and playwrights were able to do in hundreds of pages. He began folded into himself, an embryo, then strutted boldly, then crumpled and knotted himself into shrunken death.
"The Tribunal" cast him as the accused, the judge, jury and executioner. In another sketch one of his hands played evil, the other good, twisting and struggling until they combined in prayer. In other staple sketches, he conjured up an invisible wind to struggle against, and an invisible cage to hold him in as he fought to escape.
Marceau appeared in 1955 in New York off-Broadway in a program titled "An Evening of Pantomime," and The Times drama critic Brooks Atkinson wrote that Marceau was "a virtuoso of the first rank in a school of art that is not especially popular because only a genius really counts in it."
The show was such a success that it moved to a Broadway theater.
But his relationship with his native France was trickier, something that bothered him. Eventually, after winning awards in numerous countries, he was named a Chevalier de la Légion d'Honneur for cultural affairs in 1970. In 1978, Jacques Chirac, then the mayor of Paris, established a subsidy for Marceau's school, which has produced scores of mimes.
Marceau, who could be quite chatty in interviews, once said of his pantomime: "Mostly I think of human situations for my work, not local mannerisms. There is no French way of laughing and no American way of crying. My subjects try to reveal the fundamental essences of humanity."
Marceau invented Bip early in his career, in 1947, inspired in part by Italian Commedia dell'Arte. The name itself was a nod to Pip of Dickens's "Great Expectations."
"This character Bip is a funny, sad fellow," he once observed, "and things are always happening to him that could happen to anybody. Because he speaks with the gestures and the movement of the body, everyone knows what is happening to him, and he is popular everywhere - Scandinavia, Germany, Holland, Belgium, Italy, Austria, wherever he has traveled."
Marceau also painted, sketched lithographs, many of Bip, and wrote children's books. He appeared in several movies, including the classic "Les Enfants du Paradis," in which he played Harlequin, and "Barbarella" with Jane Fonda. He spoke just once in his performing career, in Mel Brooks's "Silent Movie." He said, "No."
Marcel Marceau was born Marcel Mangel, of Jewish parents in Strasbourg, France, on March 22, 1923. His father, a butcher, was deported to a concentration camp by the Germans in 1944 and never returned. Marcel moved to Paris, with a new surname and false identification papers.
After the war, he studied acting at the School of Dramatic Art in the Sarah Bernhardt Theater in Paris, learning at the feet of Étienne Decroux, who had taught the acclaimed mime Jean-Louis Barrault. Barrault chose Marceau to join his theater company, and the rest is silence.
Question every rule.
There are no absolutes.
Lake Hopatcong, NJ
Posted: Sep 24, 2007 6:41am
Where the magic begins
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